"Dirty, dirty, dirty." Linda, 15, and Thomas, 14, noted the unsanitary environment in which they lived and decided to photograph it. Having learned that ridding garbage and polluted water could stave off preventable diseases like malaria, they recognized the need to clean up their local community.
Christopher, 11, photographed a slum where people suffered from poverty. He told us, "I want to show the world that our environment is dirty."
At the workshop held in Monrovia, photographer Giacomo led 20 children between ages 9 and 16 through a five-day session as he did in Rwanda. While half the children here lived with their parents and attended school, the remainder came from temporary juvenile centers. The city had no electricity or water supply. Though six years have passed, Monrovia had not recovered from the end of two civil wars that lasted a total 14 years. The wars took about 250,000 lives and forced an estimated 12,000 children to handle weapons, witness brutal acts or otherwise be involved in the conflicts.
The participants in the workshop learned photography techniques and discussed the themes of their shots. One of the themes was malaria, a disease with which 500,000 children under five and 100,000 pregnant women are infected each year. The children decided it was necessary to record why malaria was one of the major killers of children and how the disease could be prevented. "So much could be done. If only we could afford nets, then the mosquitoes wouldn't bite us at night. My younger brother died from malaria. It was too late when we arrived at the clinic."